April 26, 2006 has been designated by WIPO member states as “World IP Day.” The aim of the day is to “to raise awareness of the role of intellectual property in our daily lives, and to celebrate the contribution made by innovators and artists to the development of societies across the globe.”
The theme of this year’s event is “the power of ideas as the seedbed for innovation and creativity.” As we all know, ideas – at least in copyright – are not subject to protection and hence why they can form the seedbed for innovation and creativity – because they can be borrowed and shared and freely disseminated around the globe. A list of events taking place around the world is provided here. One event which was omitted from this list is the event which took place last night, a gathering in Second Life to discuss the topic “21st Century Creativity in a Copyright World: How Can the Potential Be Realised?”.
It was an interesting and wide-ranging discussion – including the forced shut down of Richard Neville’s satirical site pretending to be that of the Australian Prime Minister apologising about the Iraq war, the American Edit shut down, the trials and tribulations of securing podcasting licenses from British music rights societies — among other topics.
Really, is there any better way to acknowledge World IP Day than surrounded by people dressed as avatars dressed as green men and devils, and fire hydrants and post boxes? (…and don’t you just hate it when you avatar blinks in photos)